The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Updates

It's December, the birth-month of my lord and savior (Aaron Carter -- he beat Shaq, guys, show him some respect.)

Where do we stand in regards to another year of the The Jerx? Well, now we're at 96% funding pledged. I'm guessing that final 4% will roll in the next few weeks. As I said a couple weeks ago, at this point it's a matter of new people getting turned on to the site, as I assume any of the regular readers would have signed up already if they were so inclined. 

I'm quite content with how all of this has played out. Even the fact that we're likely going to just reach the funding goal. Would I have rather reached it and doubled it in a matter of days? Yes, sure. But that would require a much broader support from the magic community. And this would be a very different site if I was writing it looking for the broad support of the general magic community. 

I was listening to an interview recently with friend-of-the-site, Seth Godin, where he advocates gearing your output towards the smallest possible audience. "What's the minimum number of people you need to keep doing the work? Make something for those people," he says. And that's where my head has always been.

So, anyways, if things continue along the same trajectory, I expect another year to be funded right around the holidays and that means the next year will start up in early January, and the first issue of The Jerx magazine will be the February issue. 

If you want to sign up to support Year Two and receive the monthly Jerx magazine and the Jerx deck of playing cards, scroll down and fill out the form below.


Jamy Ian Swiss reviewed The Jerx, Volume One for his new column over at Magicana.com

Having your magic book reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss is like making a movie and having it reviewed by Pauline Kael (except less supernatural because she's been dead for 15 years). I think his book reviews in Genii played a part in raising the standards for the content of magic books. His detailed reviews (his review of my book is somehow 15% longer than the book itself) put authors on notice. "Hey, someone is going to be taking this shit seriously, maybe you should too." And I think the quality of thought in magic books was elevated to meet that challenge.

(In a similar manner to the way the bar on magic book design and production was raised by Richard Kaufman, before whom, the most thought anyone put into their magic book was what color comb-binding they should use. (And I mention Kaufman here because I know he and Swiss hate each other and I like to put them together, if only in analogy, because I'm a naughty little scamp. Wheeeeee!!!!))

The truth is, I'm too dumb in regards to magic, as well as just, like, basic vocabulary, to appreciate Jamy's reviews as much as I should. But it seemed he liked the book on some level so I was happy with that. 

There was one part of the review I disagreed with that I want to touch on. Not because I think he got it "wrong" but just because it's clearly something I could explain better. He had some qualms with the ramifications of performing certain effects in some of the styles I propose in the book. He seemed concerned that they could come off more as practical jokes than tricks, which might alienate the spectator. 

This shouldn't be an issue. Or, at least, it's not an issue for me. I never perform for someone who doesn't know they're watching a magic trick (and I wouldn't recommend anyone else do so either, but it's your life). The specific moment he references is the non-presentation for ring flight mentioned in the first post on the Distracted Artist style. Now, the purpose of this style is not to suggest that you're a wondrous little elf and magic follows you wherever you go. The purpose is to suggest that someone who studies the art of magic might absentmindedly do a trick in the same way someone who studies the art of illustration might doodle on a napkin. These moments don't take place on an island. They're part of a years-long—perhaps life-long—performance piece you conduct for your social circle. It's not something you do for strangers. And since people don't really know what it means to practice magic, the notion that maybe these little moments could happen in an off-handed way is almost intriguingly possible. But it doesn't matter either wayne they believe it. As I wrote in that original post:

"Do I think people believe these things are just really happening? It's a moot question because the answer is: I don't care. I'm not asking them to believe. And what you'll find is when you don't ask something of someone, they don't resist following the path you lay out."

You might think the immersive style of presentations that I also promote on this site might lend themselves to the "practical joke" feel, but that shouldn't be the case either. Remember, I recommend this style be used for people after they've already seen you perform in a more straightforward manner and have expressed an interest in seeing more. So they know me, and know my personality, or at least know my interest in magic. So when I say, "Let's test to see if your baby is clairvoyant," or, "I'm taking down the Sultan of Brunei in a poker game and I need your help practicing," or, "Let's meet up in our dreams tonight," they don't believe it. They play along with it because we have a shared history, a history that involves them being rewarded with a unique experience for playing along.

So when Jamy suggests you probably need to be a good actor to pull off some of my effects, that's not really the case. I can't act for shit. If I was trying to engage people I didn't know, that might be a problem. I couldn't just walk up to them with obvious nonsense. But when I'm interacting with someone who knows me, and knows that "obvious nonsense" is just a precursor to seeing something interesting, I don't need to foster belief, I just need to create some intrigue into where this is all going.

So there's that.

In general though, I really appreciate the thought Jamy (for Magicana) and Kainoa (for Genii) put into their reviews of the book. 


"I've never before seen [amateur magic] championed with quite the enthusiasm, creativity, and hilarious Crimp-level vulgarity as TheJerx.com's Andy. It has seldom been this much fun to read about magical theory." -- from Steve Bryant's review of The Jerx, Volume One in the September issue of Little Egypt Magic

"I believe this text contains some of the highest caliber of ideas, also presented in an entertaining form, that I have learned from any book in a long time." -- from Kainoa Harbottle's review of The Jerx, Volume One in the December 2016 issue of Genii

"First and foremost, The Jerx, Volume One is a terrific book. It is spectacularly original and inconceivably provocative. The author is wildly creative, filling the pages with arrestingly imaginative and freshly conceived ideas. Many pieces read like thought experiments that, whether or not I will every perform them, I found utterly engaging and wildly entertaining just to think about." -- From Jamy Ian Swiss' review of The Jerx, Volume One.

Look, had I known the book would get reviews like this I would have printed a lot more. As it is, I'm happy the people who were on board to support the site early on will have a copy of what is likely one of the most limited edition magic books of this size that there is. No, there won't be another printing in any format. When it's gone it's gone. This was my retirement saving plan: Write the greatest magic book ever. Print a small number of copies. Hold onto a few of them for myself. Sell them for 1000s of dollars 30 years from now.


You can stop sending me emails telling me Chad Long ripped off this post for one of his effects in the final MAGIC magazine.

You can stop sending it to me because:

a) Enough people already have
b) I highly doubt he stole the idea. I'd be surprised if I was the first to think of it.
c) I wouldn't give a shit even if he did. I have 1000 ideas better than this.
d) There's a good possibility I am Chad Long and just forgot I had already written up this idea for the blog.

Chad Long... Magic Thief?


Do you wear a 4XL shirt? If so, I'm worried about your heart. And also, there are no more GLOMM shirts in that size, nor will there be in the future because the company that does my screen-printing doesn't stock them. 

Let's make 2017 the year you get down to a 3X. Join Weight Watchers, and if you show me a verified weight loss of 50 pounds on whatever documentation they give you, I'll send you a free GLOMM membership kit.


Bad news, magic nerds. Someone else destroyed a copy of Expert at the Card Table for imaginary internet points.

And to make matters worse, those are a girl's hands. A GIRL had the temerity to destroy that masterpiece! Of course, the female brain is probably incapable of understanding how thrilling and delightful an effect like "The Row of Ten Cards" is. It's why they shouldn't be allowed in magic! 

Fun!!!!


I will be checking in a time or two more before the month is over. Make sure to take a few moments to enjoy this festive time of the year before it's gone. Surround yourself with the people you love and Old Gold cigarettes, and practice a little good will towards men.

Talkin' Turkey Updates

Happy Thanksgiving week, Americans! (And happy end of November, rest of the world.)

Due to the holiday and then some non-magic work obligations, there won't be another update for 10 days or so. But we are inching towards another year of the site and The Jerx Monthly. If you haven't signed up and you'd like to, you can do that at this post. (Also, to reiterate, if you don't confirm your sign-up in your email then I have no idea that you exist.)

Right now, let's give thanks...


Thanks to Kainoa Harbottle. I don't like that I have to look up the spelling of his name whenever I want to type it, but I do like the incredibly thoughtful, thorough, and positive review he wrote for The Jerx, Volume One in the December issue of Genii. 

For those of you who came to this because of that review, I should note this site is currently on hiatus, but you have more than enough to keep you occupied for quite a while.


Thanks to Steve Bryant for giving this site a shout-out in this month's Little Egypt Magic.

Steve's site is the granddaddy of magic blogs, starting at a time before blogs existed. It's always worth checking out his monthly write-ups.


Thanks to the State of Nevada for putting Las Vegas magician and hyper-creep Jan Rouven behind bars for possessing 9000 videos of child pornography. Jan, whose full name is Jan Rouven Fuechtener—one of those surnames that is based on your interests or occupation, apparently, as he was always looking to Fuech someone ten er under—is going to be sentenced March 16th.

My sentencing will take place now: Rot in hell and you're kicked out of the GLOMM.


Speaking of The GLOMM, thanks to those of you who joined up this year as GLOMM Elites. You should see the 10% Peek in your email sometime today. This is a 10-page ebook describing the introductory effect that I use when performing something for someone new (and there's a deck of cards around). It's a straightforward revelation of a peeked card, but one that does a particularly good job of disguising the fact that you ever look at the deck at all. If you don't receive your copy today, get in touch.


Speaking of ebooks, a few people have requested I make available the X-Communication newsletters as an ebook. By no means do I think this is an essential manuscript for your magic library, but I just went back and re-read some of it for the first time and it's pretty damn fun. And I do get that if you're an ardent fan of something, you want access to as much of it as possible. So I'm making them available.

X-Communication was my year-long monthly review newsletter that was sent to people who purchased The Jerx, Volume One way, way, way back in October of 2015. The newsletter contained dozens of reviews and a good amount of theory, ideas, and presentations as well. Imagine if Michael Close lost half his brain in a botched suicide attempt and then went back to writing reviews for MAGIC magazine. That's kind of what it's like. 

This 104 page ebook collects all 12 issues under one cover. The price is $24. (There's nothing new here content-wise if you already received the newsletters.) The link to order is here.

Hmmmm...

I'm just coming to the realization that in the past year I wrote a 350 page book, a 50 page book, a 104 page book, and, like 250 posts on this site. What a colossal waste of time!


Some housekeeping things. There is a new tab in the menu for The Jerx Shop. This is just a simplified way of keeping everything that's available in one place for Jerx completists and others who want to support the site.

Remember, Christmas is coming up. What better way to say, "I love you," than with a gift from the Jerx. 

Concerned your wife won't be on board with you buying The Jerx, Volume One? Buy it for her instead. When she opens it on Christmas day and is like, "What is this? A magic book? Why would you buy me this?" Get all offended, take it back and say, "Wow, what an ungrateful animal you are. Fine. I guess I'll keep it and I'll read it. If that's what you'd prefer. My god... what have you become?"


Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Enjoy your turkey and your Old Gold cigarettes. I'll catch back up with you soon.


Percent of Funding Pledged for Season 2

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

(or is it "Out of Sight, Out of Mind"?)

My little sweeties, I miss you. Have you all been enjoying the internet since I've been away? It's really been a true delight, hasn't it? Lots of smart people rationally discussing interesting ideas in a calm fashion. 


Your update in regards to Season 2 is this: we're still in a similar place to where we were last time I wrote. The pledged support for another year of the site and for The Jerx magazine is right around 90%. 

A number of people have written to offer alternative ideas to fund another year of the site. I appreciate your enthusiasm and your suggestions, but you have to keep something in mind—there are not 1000s of supporters of this site. There are not even 100s of supporters. We're measuring supporters in the dozens. And that's a good thing, because I like to view my engagement with the people who support this site as a relationship, not a transaction. And it can only be that way with a smaller amount of people. But that small of an audience takes a lot of things off the table. Most physical products, for instance, are ridiculously expensive to get produced on a small scale, so you can't really do them.

Surely you'll come back if you're at 90-something percent, right? 

No. Here's the deal, I don't really have a negotiating gene, so when I was coming up with the number of supporters I'd need to do another year, I legitimately just put the lowest amount I could do it for. 

The good news, for people who like the site, I can almost assure you it will come back again someday. We're very close now, but this last 10% may take a matter of weeks or a few months. And if it doesn't happen after that point you'll still be getting a gift from me in your email, just for being cool enough to offer your support. 

The sign-up to join me for season 2 and get the Jerx Monthly and the Jerx deck is below somewhere.


If the next season is funded, the schedule will be this:

  • Monday: New Post
  • Tuesday: Sponsored Post
  • Wednesday: New Post
  • Thursday: Sponsored Post
  • Friday: New Post
  • Every other Saturday: Non-Magic Post

Whose going to be sponsoring posts? No one! Probably. Just me (although I'll leave the door open for others if they're interested). Tuesday and Thursday's will be brief previews of what will be in the upcoming month's Jerx Monthly magazine, or possibly information about other projects I'm working on.

The Jerx Monthly will be all-new material and will come out on the 1st every month.


If you have the Jerx App and you're not doing at least the memory loss effect, you're absolutely missing out. It's one of the most mind-fuckiest things you can do. Especially if you have someone record it on their phone and especially especially if you use the Light Lunch convincer. The fun part is coming up with ways to apparently affect their memory. I sometimes do a faux hypnotism bit, but it can be fun to just make up something on the spot. For example, last night I used "peer pressure" to affect the spec's memory. 

Another fun bit to do is to set it up as per the instructions, except instead of a sun and bird use a moon and a UFO. Then "erase" the UFO from her mind via a flash of a lighter or your phone's flashlight.


GLOMM elites! Below is the cover of the ebook you'll be receiving next Monday describing the card peek mentioned in this post. It's not a new technique so much as it is a choreography that I feel is the most invisible peek in a one-on-one situation (it can be used in any situation, I just mean that I feel it's most invisible to the person whose mind you're reading).

If you don't get it at that time and you're a GLOMM elite, drop me a line and let me know.

Until next time.

Season Two Status

See details on Season Two and The Jerx Monthly and sign up if you're interested at the post below. I will update this chart from time to time when it's warranted.

For those who have asked via email when I think the site will return, I genuinely don't know. I think most of the people who are into this site have already signed up, so what remains will trickle in over time, probably as new people find the site.  It could be a while. You have to realize that the number of people who are interested in looking at the pursuit of magic from this perspective is tiny. While this site has a good sized readership for a site of this nature, it's mostly casual fans. I'd put the passionate fans at about 12%. 

But why would anyone expect it to be any higher? A site about magic that has an underlying ethos of taking the focus off the performer? It barely makes sense when you consider the reason most people get into magic. It would be like having a blog of vegan recipes where I promoted the vegan lifestyle so that we could be healthy enough to chase down animals on foot and slit their throats. 

I've been putting the additional time I've had from this hiatus to good use. First, I've been refining some routines that I'm pretty excited about. And second, I've been working on some test layouts for The Jerx Monthly, which will be the pdf magazine of reviews and tricks/ideas that will go to the people who sign on to sponsor year two. My stylistic inspiration for the magazine is not Genii or MAGIC or any classic magic magazine. It's actually an old magazine called Secrets. It may not influence all the content, but at the very least I'm thinking of doing the covers and maybe a feature article in this style.

Coming Soon!

(possibly, or coming eventually, or coming never)

The Jerx, Season Two: Young Reckless Hearts

The Jerx Monthly

The Jerx Premium Playing Cards

My original funding plan for season two of The Jerx was to offer no bonuses and just let the people who wanted to support give and—if there were enough of them—I would keep going with the site.

I've had a change of heart after discussing this plan with a friend of mine who reminded me, "Andy, you don't like the people who freeload off the site. Why would you offer them the same experience as those who support it?"

And yeah! He's right! I hate those bums!

I had been caught up with the idea that to provide "bonuses" would require more time, and time is the commodity I don't have. 

Then I realized the stupidly simple solution to the issue. Instead of offering 5 posts a week on this site, I will hold back my favorite post or two each week and instead include that in a new project The Jerx Monthly.

What is the Jerx Monthly? Well... it's like the Jerx... but... monthly.

It's going to be a PDF magazine of, probably, 20ish pages of all original material (it won't reprint anything from the blog). It will be the best of the tricks that had been slotted for season two of this site, plus the sorts of new product reviews I had done in X-Communication, plus the Jerx Centerfold.

This is, I think, a better deal for everyone. It's certainly better for me because it allows me more flexibility. Instead of five posts a week on this site, there will be three posts a week, and then four reviews and four tricks/essays in the magazine. It's the same amount of content but now the best content is being saved for supporters of the site. 

Why not just put it all in a magazine? Well, because some stuff is more appropriate for a blog and some stuff is more timeless and makes more sense as a magazine article.

In addition, those who keep their monthly donation active throughout year two will receive the limited edition Jerx Deck. This is an idea I've had for a couple years. It does one really stupid thing that is funny to me. You'll see.

So here are the perks for Jerx Season Two supporters

  • The knowledge that you're keeping this site going. And my appreciation for your support. (Value: $6.00) 
  • A subscription to The Jerx Monthly - 240 pages of original content over the course of the year.
  • The first Jerx Deck. A hyper limited-edition deck of playing cards. The cost of the deck and shipping are covered in the $10/month donation.
  • This may not mean anything but you'll have priority email contact with me. I'll white-list your email address. One of the big timesinks of this site is the time spent going back and forth over email. I genuinely enjoy communicating with people about the site, but it sucks up a huge amount of time. So now only supporter's emails will come through immediately. Everything else will go to a folder that I'll check every week or so as time permits.  

So when does this start? 

Well, it's not definitely going to happen. Here's the situation. If and when we reach 100% funding, this site will start back up and the Jerx Monthly will start arriving soon after. I will update the chart below that shows the funding percentage on a regular basis.

(If you signed up but didn't respond to the verification email, I have no idea that you signed up so make sure to check your email and confirm your subscription to the list of supporters.)

And let me say a huge and genuine thanks to those of you who signed up to support season 2 at a time when you were offered nothing more for your support beyond the continuation of the site itself. That's truly appreciated. 

If you haven't signed up yet and you're interested in another year of this site and the bonuses that come with funding season 2, sign up below. Thanks.

I'm in for $10/month to support season 2, subscribe to The Jerx Monthly, and receive the Jerx Deck

* indicates required

 

 

 

The Jerx - For Hire

This post marks the end of Season One of the Jerx. If there is an interest in doing a season two, I'm down for it.

[See the post above for the current funding plan for Season 2]

To do this site as I like to do it takes a considerable amount of time. I don't think any of you expect me to work 20-30 hours or more per week on this just for the hell of it. So here is what I'm proposing for season two. If you want another year, and if you're willing to donate $10/month to see it happen, then sign up for the Season Two Investor email list below. I'm not asking anyone to pay anything at this time, this is just to see if there are enough people with an interest to fund another year. 

Hell yeah. I'm on board for another year of The Jerx at $10/month

* indicates required

One of three things will happen:

1. Enough people will sign up that we can restart season two after a week's break.
2. Not enough people will sign up, but this post will remain and perhaps at some point in the future enough people will have signed up. In which case I'll pick the site back up at that point (if I'm in a position to).
3. Not enough people ever sign up, in which case this site is done. 

All of these are happy outcomes for me. I'm excited about doing another year of this site. And if it doesn't happen I'm excited about having so much more time back in my week. 

"Andy, I have a much better idea."

No, you don't. I promise. I've considered every other funding option. You don't need to email me with these suggestions:

"You should ask for more than $10/month. I give $20/month to my favorite podcast. People on their Patreon page are giving $100/month." - I don't want to do more than $10/month.

"You should do less than $10/month I can get Genii for like 5 bucks and that's a physical product." - Yes, and you can get a gallon of water from your faucet for 8 cents. Or you can go to the store and get one for $1.50. Or you can hire someone to go to the river and gather you a gallon for $50. If you want Genii, then order Genii. It's a steal. If you want this site you're hiring someone to go the river. I don't have angel investors, advertisers, or the readership of Genii. My appeal is much narrower. 

"You should have advertising. Or have a company sponsor the site." - What people like about this site is that they don't know what it will be from day to day. But that is not what an advertiser or sponsor likes. My readership is much greater than iTricks, and what I write isn't immediately deleted like a Magic Cafe PM box ad, but people are less inclined to advertise on this site because they don't know what they'll be getting. That makes sense.

"You don't get it, man! It's the new economy! You write this site FOR FREE, and then people hire you to work on their stuff based on what you give away for." - Yes, I get that idea. I've experienced that in other aspects of my work-life. But this site is just too niche for that. In the 18 months I've worked on the site, it has directly led to one outside gig.

(If you're interested, I came up with the concept and wrote the copy for the branding of friend-of-the-site, Rob Dobson's digital agency, Northern Comfort. That concept being that he runs the world's oldest digital and social media agency, established in 1848 by his great-great-great-great-grandfather. Here's the history I wrote for the company.)

And you're misunderstanding the issue. I'm not concerned about finding work opportunities. I'm just lacking the time to do both.

"You should write the site for free because you love magic!" Now, see, I don't know who told you that, but I don't. Oh, I like performing it and thinking about it, but I don't like the act of composing those thoughts into posts (the time consuming part). And that's a good thing because the stuff people like about this site is the stuff that comes from being out and performing for real people in regular environments. 

There you have it. If you're down to support another year of The Jerx, sign up at the form above.

Loose Ends

(In case I'm not back anytime soon)

The Jerx, Volume One: There are a handful of copies left that aren't reserved for someone. I don't think there's any rush to get one though. I think most people who are interested have already picked one up. You can get one at the link above and I will still include The Amateur at the Kitchen Table and the Jerx App.

The App: Is awesome. I'm amazed I came up with something so practical and useful. It's expensive, but that's because it wasn't intended as something to be sold separately. 

The GLOMM: Will continue. Membership kits will be available for the foreseeable future. Although I only have a couple of the red shirts for each size in the super, hyper-platinum membership, or whatever I called it.

X-Communication: There is one more issue left coming at the end of October. 

Other E-books:

  • The 10% Peek - Will be sent to all GLOMM Elites in mid-November.
  • 20 for 20 - Will be sent to those with over 100 Jerx Points in early 2017. When you think you've reached that point total, you let me know. I'm not keeping track of these imaginary points for everyone.
  • Pixilated/Pixelated - At one point this was being considered for an upcoming TV special. I'm not sure what the status is with that, but either way this will be going out to all GLOMM Elites in the next few months.
  • The Decision Artist - I once said I had a routine that was more powerful than roofies when it comes to getting in someone's pants. This is that routine. It's all written up and I may release it soon, but if I do it will probably be super-expensive, and only one copy will be made available per 100 mile radius, and you'll probably have to prove to me you're not a total creep somehow. We'll see about this one.

Future Projects: This blog started 10 years after my old one stopped. If we don't do another year of the The Jerx then I'll start another blog 20 years from now. Other than that, I'm not sure what the future plans are as far as magic is concerned.

As I said, if there isn't enthusiasm to do another year on the part of the people reading this, that's completely fine. This site is something I'm very happy with as it stands now. If the funding is there to keep it going, I'll see you soon. If not, enjoy the 400 or so posts (and be glad I didn't delete them all overnight like I did with the old site).

Peruggia

This is a variation on Larry Becker's Sneak Thief routine which I was introduced to via Andy Nyman's Magician's Graphology effect. 

I'm going to dance around some of the details of the method, but that's because I don't see this site as a place for beginners to learn methods. I'm writing for magicians with a pretty healthy understanding of magic techniques and what I write below will either be clear to you, or it will set you off in the right direction to track down further work on it. 

The Sneak Thief effect is this: You hand out four business cards (in this handling) and ask four people to draw something on a card while your back is turned. The cards are mixed up face-down. You take them back and turn them over one-by-one and you're able to identify who drew each picture. With the last picture (since it's obvious who drew it) you instead reproduce that picture without ever having looked at it (apparently).

The peek in Sneak Thief is one of my favorites. It's bold but you'll never get caught doing it.

However, I've found there to be a fairly significant issue with the Sneak Thief routine. While you won't get caught during the moment you peek the final drawing, there is nothing to add to the spectator's conviction that you didn't just peek the drawing at some other point while you were handling the cards. Magicians and mentalists get caught up in the success of the peek. "They didn't call me out on looking at the drawing when I was doing it right in front of them!" But just because people don't catch you doing the peek in the moment, that doesn't mean they don't assume that's how you did it.

Peruggia is the Sneak Thief routine perfected for close-up. The conviction level that you never saw the final drawing at any point is incredibly high because that drawing never leaves the spectator's hands.

Here's the method. You hand out four business cards that are marked in some way, nail-nicks, pencil-dots, whatever. You just need to know whose is whose when they're returned to you. 

You turn away or leave the room and ask everyone to draw a simple picture on the back of their cards. You then ask one person to gather up all the pictures and mix them drawing side down so no one knows which is which.

You turn around or return to the table and tell the spectator to give the cards one last mix and deal three of them into your palm up right hand (or whatever your dominant hand is). Ask them to place the last card on their right hand (you demonstrate with your cards that they should place it the long way, along the palm). You want to be opposite of the person who ends up holding onto the last card.

You now turn over the top card of your stack and you display the drawing to everyone to look at. During this time you will get your peek of the bottom drawing, as per the original Sneak Thief routine. Because of the markings you will know who this first drawing belongs to. Do your psychic reading of the person who drew it, or get your psychological impression or whatever the case may be. Then finish by identifying the person who drew it. 

At some point during this process you need to move the bottom card to the center of the pack. This is not a secret sleight, just something that happens as you're holding the cards. Don't even look or pay attention to it. If someone notices it, you're just absent-mindedly mixing the cards.

You now hold the stack of drawings at your right fingertips. The first drawing you looked at is facing up, the other two are face down beneath it. You are now going to do a variation on John Bannon's Assisted Switch with the card the spectator still holds. This is a more advanced version, but you're free to do it as Bannon describes it in Smoke and Mirrors if you're more comfortable that way. (You just have to justify how they hold the cards in that one.)

Essentially what you're going to do is the second step of an Elmsley count, but into their hand.

Here it is broken down step by step.

1. You bring both your hands towards the spectator.

2. You say, "I'm going to have you take this card too."

3. Your left hand takes her right hand and pulls it gently and slightly towards you. Your fingers are below her hand and your thumb is on top, pressing down on the left side of the face-down business card and raising the right side a little bit.

4. You apparently thumb off the picture you just looked at into her hand, but actually you execute the Assisted Switch. Your left thumb levers up the right side of the card which will give you the maneuverability you need.

Here's what that all looks like. (I'm demonstrating with playing cards for clarity, but it's actually easier with business cards, as long as your business cards will slide against each other.)

Believe it or not, it's not that much more difficult to do this switch than it is to do the beginning of an Elmsley count without the spectator's hand under the card.

At this point you may or may not want to ask the spectator to sandwich the cards between her hand, "so no one can get to them." Or whatever. 

So you've switched in a drawing that they don't even know you've seen yet, for one that was in their hand from the start, without it ever seemingly having left their hand. You are incredibly far ahead. In fact, you're done, method-wise.

Reveal who drew the other two drawings. And after you do each one, place it cleanly between the spectator's hands with the other cards.

Now you can reveal the last person's drawing directly, but that's not how I do it. I want to both exceed their expectations and justify why I gave back all the drawings to the one person, so here's what I do.

I say, "Obviously, that last drawing between her hands is yours [indicating whoever drew it]. So let's try something a little different." I turn away and ask them to turn all the drawings face down and mix them all up and place them in a row on the table. 

I turn back, take the hand of the person who did the last drawing and move it back and forth along the row of business cards. I know which one is hers because of the markings and after a few moments I lower her hand flat onto one drawing and place my hand on top of hers so she can't lift it. Then I quickly turn over the other three drawings showing that I was able to locate hers. This no-stakes Russian Roulette actually gets a decent reaction and seems like the end of the trick. 

I say to her, "You're the only one who knows what's on the other side of this card beneath our hands, correct?" I look to the other participants to get their agreement. Then I look to the person who held the cards during the first section of the effect. "You don't even know what's on the other side, and you had it between your hands the whole time." (This assumes the person whose drawing it is isn't the person who was holding the cards earlier.)

Then I just finish by describing the drawing in a manner that's in keeping with whatever presentation I was using earlier in the effect. 

[UPDATE: You know, I thought there'd be a decent chance someone had a similar idea to this before, but when I researched the Assisted Switch, I didn't find any reference to using it in this type of effect (or even using it for anything other than playing cards, which surprised me). But, I've been informed Joshua Quinn mentioned the idea of using it with billets a few years ago on Mystery Performers, which is one of those fancy magic message boards that vets you before you join, so I'd probably never qualify for membership. After Joshua's post, Mike Ince suggests perhaps using it for a Sneak Thief type routine. While the idea is only mentioned in passing, I'm sure if either of them had fleshed it out they would have ended up with something quite similar to what I wrote up above. So credit to Joshua and Mike, along with Larry Becker, Andy Nyman, and John Bannon for this. And thanks to Jack Shalom for informing me of this credit.]